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Quotations From DAVID HUME

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  • 11.
    Heaven and hell suppose two distinct species of men, the good and the bad. But the greatest part of mankind float betwixt vice and virtue.
    David Hume (1711-1776), Scottish philosopher. "Of the Immortality of the Soul," unpublished essay I, p. 594, Essays Moral, Political, and Literary, ed. Eugene F. Miller, revised edition, Indianapolis, Liberty Fund, Inc. (1987).

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  • 12.
    Liberty is a blessing so inestimable, that, wherever there appears any probability of recovering it, a nation may willingly run many hazards, and ought not even to repine at the greatest effusion of blood or dissipation of treasure.
    David Hume (1711-1776), Scottish philosopher. "Of the Coalition of Parties," part II, essay XIV, p. 494, Essays Moral, Political, and Literary, ed. Eugene F. Miller, revised edition, Indianapolis, Liberty Fund, Inc. (1987).
  • 13.
    Enthusiasm, being the infirmity of bold and ambitious tempers, is naturally accompanied with a spirit of liberty; as superstition, on the contrary, renders men tame and abject, and fits them for slavery.
    David Hume (1711-1776), Scottish philosopher. "Of Superstition and Enthusiasm," part I, essay X, p. 78, Essays Moral, Political, and Literary, ed. Eugene F. Miller, revised edition, Indianapolis, Liberty Fund, Inc. (1987).
  • 14.
    Enthusiasm produces the most cruel disorders in human society; but its fury is like that of thunder and tempest, which exhaust themselves in a little time, and leave the air more calm and serene than before.
    David Hume (1711-1776), Scottish philosopher. "Of Superstition and Enthusiasm," part I, essay X, p. 77, Essays Moral, Political, and Literary, ed. Eugene F. Miller, revised edition, Indianapolis, Liberty Fund, Inc. (1987).

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  • 15.
    Municipal laws are a supply to the wisdom of each individual; and, at the same time, by restraining the natural liberty of men, make private interest submit to the interest of the public.
    David Hume (1711-1776), Scottish philosopher. "Of Polygamy and Divorces," part I, essay IXX, p. 183, Essays Moral, Political, and Literary, ed. Eugene F. Miller, revised edition, Indianapolis, Liberty Fund, Inc. (1987).

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  • 16.
    Reason is, and only ought to be, the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.
    David Hume (1711-1776), Scottish philosopher. A Treatise of Human Nature, bk. II, part iii, sec. III, p. 415, ed. Selby-Bigge, Oxford (1951).
  • 17.
    The chief benefit, which results from philosophy, arises in an indirect manner, and proceeds more from its secret, insensible influence, than from its immediate application.
    David Hume (1711-1776), Scottish philosopher. "The Sceptic," part I, essay XVIII, p. 169, Essays Moral, Political, and Literary, ed. Eugene F. Miller, revised edition, Indianapolis, Liberty Fund, Inc. (1987).
  • 18.
    We may well ask, What causes induce us to believe in the existence of body? but 'tis vain to ask. Whether there be body or not? That is a point which we must take for granted in all our reasonings.
    David Hume (1711-1776), Scottish philosopher. A Treatise of Human Nature, bk. I, part iv, sec. II, p. 187, ed. Selby-Bigge, Oxford (1951).

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  • 19.
    Do you come to a philosopher as to a cunning man, to learn something by magic or witchcraft, beyond what can be known by common prudence and discretion?
    David Hume (1711-1776), Scottish philosopher. "The Sceptic," part I, essay XVIII, p. 161, Essays Moral, Political, and Literary, ed. Eugene F. Miller, revised edition, Indianapolis, Liberty Fund, Inc. (1987).

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  • 20.
    The distinction, which we often make betwixt power and the exercise of it, is equally without foundation.
    David Hume (1711-1776), Scottish philosopher. A Treatise of Human Nature, bk. 1, part 3, sect. 14, p. 171, ed. P. Nidditch, 2nd edition, New York, Oxford University Press (1978).

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